Today I was listening to Dean Shareski who was a guest of John Pederson via Google Hangouts. Dean talks to teachers a lot in his role, and I know he's inspired many.
Turns out, that isn't what he's trying to do, most of the time.
He made the point that, just maybe, teachers don't need to be inspired. They need to be heard. Their efforts need to be validated. They need to feel appreciated.
Many teachers are run down. They're exhausted, tired, and sick of mandates. Some feel hopeless, like the work they do isn't good enough, and that the hours and hours of their life they dedicate to the profession isn't cutting it.
Not all feel this way. But some.
And then, when we from the Twitterverse and elsewhere proclaim how "fabulous" a tool or technique is and blog about the latest and greatest happenings in our classrooms and schools, we can really make a teacher who isn't "there yet" feel like garbage. (My words).
I think it's true. I think most of us put our best selves online. We share what's working in our classrooms and schools, not what's falling apart at the seams.
We want to share the successes and highlights, the blissful moments and the glee, because we want everyone to know how teaching is the greatest profession in the world.
Well, it is.
But that doesn't mean every day is rainbows and unicorns and pizza and babies giggling at puppies videos.
I will remember what Dean said today, and the next time I speak with one teacher, or a team of teachers, or a roomful of educators about how important it is to be a connected educator and how it will change your life and how you will be a better teacher for it and your kids will reap the benefits and you'll ask yourself, "How did I ever teach before finding Twitter?" I will be sure to keep my wits about me and keep it real, and validate what they're currently doing.
Maybe I'll blog more about the daily grind - how I have about 14 different projects started but not finished, how I commit to things I have no business taking part in because I don't have the time or the energy to finish them, how I'm not doing as much push-in teaching or individualized teacher support as I'd like to in my schools because I know my teachers are overwhelmed and I don't want to be a burden or bother anybody. About how I see the latest tweets and blog posts from tech integrators doing really innovative things with kids and wonder, Will I ever get to do that? Are we ready for that? Will we ever be?
These are the things you learn in a new role, these are the growing pains, these are the feelings that someone who cares about education and kids and teaching and learning ponders on her too-long daily commute.
So I encourage you to share your worst.
Someone will be happy you did.